Specific risks in retail and shopping centres
Retail units, supermarkets and shopping centres represent a can present a high risk of viral transmission due to:
High numbers of people passing through retail environments
Supermarkets are the most frequent common setting for exposure to the Coronavirus according to Public Health England.
Incorrect management systems eg one way systems actually increases infection risk.
People staying in small shops for sometimes, prolonged periods of time and staff members stocking shelves and creating displays in close proximity to shoppers.
People staying in small shops for sometimes, prolonged periods of time.
Less than the desired rate to decontaminate air sufficiently quickly.
Some types of interior spaces may actually accelerate infection risk because of their ventilation arrangements irrespective of following Covid-Secure Guidelines to the letter, e.g. common HVAC systems for heating and cooling use recirculated air/ceiling cassette systems or low level heating or floor grill systems; inner room configurations etc.
No new clean air
Some retail majors have recognised they have recirculated air ventilation systems and turned them off, rather than improve the systems correctly. Worse still, some large stores have done this and have no windows, only the exit and entrances at ground floor.
While much can be done to reduce the risk of viral transmission by following the government’s guidance, additional steps can significantly reduce the risk further, protecting staff and customers from infection but “Adequate Ventilation” is the critical intervention.
As professional engineers, scientists and medics, we are able to assess your building configuration, engineering infrastructure, occupancy use and risks. We then will model and engineer a bespoke solution to suit your asset and user requirements, through the use of:
- Improved ventilation – air flows, ventilation rate, air distribution and filtration – Compliance with 6ACH or 10litres/person/second ventilation rates.
- In-duct GUV devices in HVAC systems – One way to counteract the spreading of disease is with efficient air circulation systems, which will be fitted with UV-C devices in order to inactivate any airborne microbes while the air is recirculated through it. This sustains the ability to use a recirculated air system safety and maintain low energy usage. This is the most cost effective intervention and costs pence/day.
- Upper Room GUV systems – these can be put in place to reduce localised spreading of the diseases in key locations, such as in waiting areas, fitting rooms, chilled products areas, cafeteria, tills, cash dispensers, toilets and popular product zones where microorganisms can be brought inside by visitors. These systems, when correctly specified, will be able to massively reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19.